They say not to judge a draft until three years have gone by. Three years have obviously gone by since the 2006 draft so let’s take a look.
I was going to save this piece for a later date but draft-a-mania has begun! Everyone is in draft mode and it’ll only get stronger as draft weekend nears.
Here is my take on our 2006 draft.
Round 1: A.J. Hawk - Hawk has been a solid contributor to the Packers since day one. He isn’t exactly playing at a pro bowl level but he’s definitely above average. He’s a young man who should continue to improve in the new 3-4 defense Capers is bringing. Hawk should thrive.
Round 2: Daryn Colledge - After a rough rookie and second year, Colledge started to come into his own in 2008. According to coaches and scouts (and myself), Colledge improved tenfold and graded out as our second best offensive lineman. People seem to have trouble moving past his horrible rookie and second year campaigns, but Colledge is solid and will hopefully become even better.
Round 2: Greg Jennings – Yeah, this was the best draft ever. We could have drafted punters, Jarrett Bush’s less talented brother, and several Justin Harrells and this would still be the best draft ever because we picked Greg Jennings from Western Michigan. Honestly, who picks a receiver from Western Michigan? I’m not even halfway done grading out the 2006 draft and it already has an A++.
Round 3: Abdul Hodge – Hodge was a fan favorite who never really got on the field because Nick Barnett was healthy as a horse. Of course the year Barnett DID get hurt, Hodge was on the Bengals. D’oh! Hodge was a solid special teams player and hit with the hardest. His nickname was the butcher and he was just awesome. I miss Hodge.
Round 3: Jason Spitz – Spitz came in right away and was a versatile little player you could plug in when things got tough. Over the years he stepped up and is a starter on our offensive line. He was more consistent than Colledge but probably doesn’t have much more potential for growth, which isn’t too bad if he can just stay healthy.
Round 4: Cory Rodgers – One month after being drafted, he was arrested for being in a fight. Two months later the Packers signed him to a small deal. Two months later they realized they drafted a god in Greg Jennings and cut Rodgers. Rodgers would go on to prove Thompson wrong for this move and go on to have an illustrious career…in the CFL.
Round 4: Will Blackmon – This draft just keeps getting better. Will Blackmon has stepped up as our key returner, returning two for touchdowns in 2008. He even plays some dimeback and isn’t too horrible! What more could you ask from a fourth rounder?
Round 5: Ingle Martin – Everyone loved Ingle Martin. He was a punter\QB. He was a hybrid! He was a hybrid of suck though and wasn’t really good at anything he did. His name was cool though. He never got much playing time – for good reason. He’s gone on to play for the Titans and Chiefs. He’ll probably be playing with Cory Rodgers before it’s all said and done.
Round 5: Tony Moll – Yes, Tony Moll was a fifth round pick and he’s a key player on our offensive line. That’s some good drafting. Moll struggles at times and can frustrate you but he’s a talented young kid and should give us solid depth in the 2009 season.
Round 6: Johnny Jolly – Arguably our best defensive tackle was a sixth round pick. That’s just efficient drafting right there. Jolly has legal issues due to a drug charge (pills) but as far as his football play goes, he’s a very skilled player and could make a huge impact on the team next year – if he’s not in jail.
Round 6: Tyrone Culver - Tyrone Culver. Swing and a miss, Mr. Thompson. It happens. Can’t hit a home run every time, especially in the sixth round.
Round 7: Dave Tollefson – With the third to last pick of the 2006 draft, Green Bay selected Dave Tollefson. I don’t think I need to tell you it didn’t work out and Dave has been on numerous teams since.
Overall this draft was like most Ted Thompson drafts, most players were going to contribute to the team, some a lot more than others. There would also be 2-3 late round picks that didn’t pan out while some of the later rounds would surprisingly step up into starter roles.
This is the draft that gave us Greg Jennings, A.J. Hawk, Johnny Jolly, Will Blackmon, and Greg Jennings. It’s pretty hard to top that. Greg Jennings.
GRADE: A++ (I told you this already)